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International Community Concerned About Jerusalem Evictions

The European Union joined the United States, the United Nations and Palestinian officials in expressing concern about Israeli moves to evict Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem.

The EU's Swedish presidency issued a statement Monday expressing its serious concern about what it termed the "continued and unacceptable evictions."

On Sunday, Israeli police forcibly removed more than 50 Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem and then moved Jewish settlers into the houses.

Police said they were acting on eviction orders from an Israeli court that upheld Jewish settlers' claims to the land in the Sheikh Jarrah area.

The evicted Palestinians were from two families, and officials say some of the family members had lived in the dwellings for 50 years.

The U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, called the evictions "totally unacceptable." U.S. and Palestinian officials separately said Israel was disregarding its obligations.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said some of the newly homeless are children.

The international community has been pressuring Israel to stop settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their desired future state.

About 250,000 Palestinians and 200,000 Jews live in East Jerusalem.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it in a move not recognized internationally.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.